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Finding a Home : Education, Family & Identity

by Tyler Belcher, Camille Lynch, Leah Smith, Ena Guevara-Marquez


Harrisonburg 360 –  Finding a Home : Education, Family and Identity

Produced by: Tyler Belcher, Camille Lynch, Leah Smith & Ena Guevara-Marquez



GN is a highschool senior who came to America at the age of two. He lived in many communities growing up, and finally came to settle in Harrisonburg, VA where he attends public school, and community college simultaneously. He is involved in SLI, the Scholars Latino Initiative with James Madison University, that provides mentors and guidance as he researches opportunities for higher education. 



In this episode of Harrisonburg 360, JMU students Tyler Belcher, Camille Lynch, and Ena Guevara-Marquez interview GN. GN is an undocumented immigrant, whose family migrated from Mexico when he was two-years-old, theyhave been living in America since. GN is currently a high school senior who is also attending a local community college to secure an associate’s degree after graduation. He plans to attend college and study computer sciences, in order to be successful and ultimately provide for his family in the future. GN has been on a journey in making Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the U.S. feel like a home for himself and his family. This episode focuses on GN’s immigrant experience with education and finding his identity and place in society. The episode also compares GN’s story to an oral history by Salvador Romero, and his immigrant experiences as described in 2007. Both stories contain personal narratives on their experiences in Harrisonburg, VA, and highlight changes in the community. This story also compares with Jose Vargas’s personal essay, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” and conflict in considering himself American and calling it his country too. GN expresses he would not take anything away from his experience, he believes “what happened is for a reason” and “appreciates the struggles and successes.”



Marshall, Serena. “Obama Has Deported More People Than Any Other President.” ABC News,

ABC News Network, 29 Aug. 2016,


Sasser, Mitchell. “Harrisonburg City Public Schools Embrace Diverse Population.” The Breeze

Breeze JMU, 6 Feb. 2019,



Vargas, Jose Antonio. “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 22 June 2011,


“What Is It like to Grow up as an Undocumented Youth in America?” American Psychological 

Association, American Psychological Association, 2013,



Intro and Outro

“We Are Millenials.” Sean Fischer



“Affection”. Lance Conrad